19 Apr, 2020 @ 13:00
3 mins read

CASTAWAY COOKING: This chicken, ham and bean stew is an homage to the Sierra Nevada mountains, writes British chef stranded in Spain due to COVID-19

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FOR the last few weeks they have been holed up in Granada following a coronavirus travel nightmare (see Olive Press Issue 340). But now British couple Yianni Papoutsis, 44, (founder of MEATliquor in the UK), and Sophie O’Hara, 26, have turned lockdown into a culinary showdown. Next up in their new series of quarantine recipes for the Olive Press is a hearty chicken, ham and white bean stew served with frybreads. Stay tuned for more and check out their blog @nice.olation on Instagram.

Chicken, ham and white bean stewserves 2-3

In our present situation there can’t be many people who haven’t got a jar of beans somewhere in their kitchen.

Chicken Ham And White Bean Stew 2
WHOLESOME: This stew is packed with hearty veg and meat to help you through lockdown

If you are, as we were, somewhat uncertain of what to do with them then be assured that the ones in Spain are quick, versatile and very tasty.

This recipe is a nice.olation homage to the various bean-based dishes of La Alpujarra, the rugged and fertile valleys on the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Feel free to improvise with regards to what meat and vegetables you include; it works with most things you can throw in there and you’ll get great results with pretty much any jar of beans, lentils or chickpeas you might have to hand.

This is a great way to use up any leftovers you might have from a roast chicken and let’s all do our bit and make sure no leftover goes uneaten.


Chicken Ham And White Bean Stew 1
RICH: This tasty dish is topped off with feta and is ideal served with frybread

2 tbsp olive oil or lard (manteca de cerdo)
2 garlic cloves, whole with skins on
2 large bay leaves
1 large carrot, diced
1/2 an onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, roughly chopped
1 long thin green pepper, roughly chopped
250ml of chicken or pork stock (homemade will give best results)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
100g frozen spinach (or other leafy greens)
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1x 400g jar of precooked white beans (Alubia Blanca or any other precooked beans)
150g leftover chicken
30g Jamón Iberico, torn or diced
Salt and black pepper to taste
75g feta, crumbled


Step 1

In a saucepan brown the garlic cloves and bay leaves in the oil over a medium heat. 

Step 2

Add the carrots, peppers and onions cooking gently until they start to brown.

Step 3

Add the stock herbs and frozen spinach, simmer for 15 minutes.  

Step 4

Add the vinegar, beans, chicken and jamon. Stir, cover and cook very gently for a further three minutes, being careful not to cook it for too long or the beans will turn to mush (although they’ll still taste great).

Step 5

Season with salt and pepper to taste, serve topped with crumbled feta, a splash of red wine vinegar and some frybread. 

Frybread – makes 6-8 frybreads

Frybread 2
NO KNEAD: This easy bread requires little work and is perfect for mopping up every drop of stew

Who’d have thought we’d see shortages of yeast on supermarket shelves, just at a time when everybody and their cat seems to be cooking up picture perfect loaves at home.

If you don’t want to go through the palaver of nurturing a sourdough starter don’t despair; there are many other ways to leaven bread, (speaking from experience, sourdough starters can be a lot more difficult than social media makes them appear).

Frybread, a Native American recipe with a fascinating if unsettling history, is made with baking powder rather than yeast.

It can be on your plate in about 45 minutes with no kneading involved.

We first tried frybread in Nevada at a roadside stall run by the Paiute tribe selling ‘Indian Tacos’: frybread topped with ground beef, beans, lettuce, cheese and lashings of chilli sauce.

We’ve been making them at home ever since.


Frybread 1
ODDBALLS: Part of the charm of these frybreads is that it doesn’t matter what shape and size they are

375g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder (be generous)
175ml milk
Oil or lard (manteca de cerdo) for frying


Step 1

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, then slowly stir in the milk until you have a slightly sticky ball of dough. Add a splash of water or a sprinkle more flour if it’s too dry or sticky.

Step 2

Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave it at room temperature for twenty to 45 minutes.

Step 3

Pull off a golf ball sized piece of dough and, using your hands, work it into a flat-ish disc. It really doesn’t matter how round they are; ours tend to come out more triangular, but do try not to tear them.  

Step 4

Heat the oil over a medium heat and, once hot, cook the frybreads until golden brown (about a minute each side). Drain any excess oil on a kitchen towel and keep in a warm oven until ready to serve. 

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